Chen Shou was born in Nanchong, Sichuan. He served as an official in the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period. His father was believed to be Chen Shi, a Shu general who once had his beard shaved off as a penalty by order of the chancellorZhuge Liang after a campaign that failed due to a shortsighted strategy by its commander, Ma Su. After the fall of Shu in 263, Chen Shou served as a historian in the Jin dynasty. In 274, he collected the writings of Zhuge Liang.